MANILA (Mabuhay) — The Aquino administration is still clueless on how it will go about the projects funded by the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) that have yet to be completed, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad admitted before senators Thursday.
“Yun ang isang pinagtatalunan sa executive, sa aking pagkakaalam karamihan (sa mga proyekto) ay naisagawa na. Inaalam naming ngayon kung alin ang hindi pa natatapos. May pangangamba ang bureaucracy sa mga proyektong hindi pa natatapos,” Abad told Senate finance committee chairman Francis Escudero during the hearing on DAP.
Abad said they still need to consult with legal experts on what should be done with the projects.
“Kailangang isangguni sa legal experts kasi hindi masyadong maliwanag ang sinasabi ng Korte Suprema,” he said. “Makakatulong po kung maririnig namin ang Kongreso.”
The Supreme Court has ruled that portions of the DAP are unconstitutional, triggering the filing of impeachment complaints against President Benigno Aquino III and calls for Abad’s resignation.
Defending the DAP before the Senate committee, Abad said the SC decision will not encourage efficient public spending nor will it push agencies to use funds for the public services.
He said DAP was an urgent response to the urgent problem as low expenditures pose threat to the economic development.
“Since 2011 when DAP was implemented, we saw dramatic GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth, 6.8 percent in 2012 and 7.23 percent in 2013. DAP yielded positive results,” he said.
He said the SC ruling will send a chilling effect on the administration’s momentum of reform as it prevent officials to seek innovative solutions to problems.
The high court decision, however, has not affected P5 million worth of DAP-funded flood-control projects, said Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, who was present during the hearing.
“74 percent accomplishment na yung projects. Hindi na kami makonsensiyang hintuin pa kaya pinagpapatuloy namin,” he said.
The DPWH also continued with projects that already have appropriations cover and for which Special Allotment Release Orders have been released.
“Ang hindi naming tinuloy ay yung mga projects na wala pang kontrata, hindi cover ng notice to proceed or notice of award,” said Singson. (MNS)